The Periodontal Ligament (PDL) is a group of specialized connective tissue fibers that attach a tooth to the Alveolar Bone in the mouth. It connects with the Root’s Cementum on one side and with Alveolar Bone on the other. When you get braces put on your teeth, the PDL loosens, which is one of the things that allows the teeth to move into new positions. After orthodontic treatment is finished, the PDL gradually tightens up again over a period of months to help hold the teeth in their new positions. However, after braces are removed from the teeth, a Retainer is usually required to ensure that the teeth do not move or shift.
The PDL serves several important functions in the mouth:
- It helps support the teeth in relation to the jaw bone.
- It contains special receptors which communicate information about the position or health of a teeth.
- It helps supply nutrition to the teeth because it is adjacent to many blood vessels.
- It contains special cells which help the jaw bone heal or remodel.